Exploring the traditional beauty and values of Cu Da Ancient Village- Hanoi

About 20km from center of Hanoi city to the west, located on the bank of Nhue River, Cu Da Village (Cu Khe Commune, Thanh Oai district – Hanoi) is known as a unique cultural space which preserved the village gate, rated old temples, communal houses, many old houses which completely remain the architectural style of the Northern plains and the ancient house with French architecture 100 years ago.

An alley of Cu Da ancient village

Located on the bank of Nhue River, Cu Da Village has become a bustling commercial place, an affluent village which demonstrates the concept of "near markets is the best, then near rivers". The most developed period of the village was the late 19th and early 20th century. Not only does Cu Da have old mossy gate with a clock at the top, but the alleys along Nhue river also has gates. Explaining to the constructions of the gates, the elderly said that because of being a thriving place, Cu Da attracted many pilgrims, some thieves mingled causing the insecurity and disorder. Therefore, the villagers had to build the gates, every house had a gate with wooden doors. This is a rare feature in of the villages in the North, and even through out Vietnam.

The gate of Cu Da village

The village currently has only a few dozen of old houses in French architecture with 2 floors, sophisticated but harmonious with the traditional style of the Northern plain. Most of the old houses in the village are made of wood, on roof tiles. The house of Mr. Trinh The Sung’s family, built over 130 years ago, has been inhabited by 4 generations. Although the house has gone through many ups and downs, it is still quite intact, and because the family wants to preserve and maintain the traditional culture, they do not want to unroof and rebuild the house.

The old house of Mr. Trinh The Sung, the oldest house in Cu Da village

Coming to Cu Da, visitors not only discover the ancient features of the village, but also have the opportunity to witness the thrilling producing scenery and characteristic flavor of traditional products of the village- vermicelli and soybean jam.

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Cu Da vermicelli is made of cassava (a kind of tuber plant) powder. In the early morning here, the village roads are bustling with people carrying the “cakes” of cassava vermicelli put in the bamboo wattles to dry, the bamboo wattles are leaned on the bamboo poles or walls along the road. Just over a period of sunshine, the cassava vermicelli is flexible enough to be removed from the wattles to be cut into fibers. Besides the slicers, one person will the put vermicelli pieces on, some other people will pick up the threads of vermicelli and hang on the bamboo poles to continue drying. In sunny days, vermicelli is dried in one day and then rolled into small rolls for packaging. Each day, Cu Da produces about 15 to 20 tones of cassava vermicelli, these products are delivered to all regions of Vietnam and in foreign countries where Vietnamese people live.

Cassava vermicelli is being dried

Cu Da soybean jam has also become a specialty because it has a different flavor from sauce. Cu Da soybean jam is fragrant, tasty and is dried and kept preciously. However, nowadays, there are only a few families producing bottled soybean jam for consuming.

Cu Da soybean jam is kept in terracotta jars to avoid insects and being stale

Exploring the traditional beauty and values of Cu Da Ancient Village- Hanoi

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